While ‘Clean Eating’ is it’s own fad ‘diet’ right now. It really isn’t a diet, nor is it a fad. It is literally what it sounds like. Eating more clean foods, and not eating as many unclean, refined, sugar-sweetened, processed foods.
For me, this change has been extremely slow. It has turned out to be something completely different from where I started (even completely different than where I’d imagined or hoped to be). And it has turned out to be about so much more than food, diet or weight. So much more.
Let me tell you about how things used to be for me. I’ll start with a few years ago. I was camping on the beach in Hawaii. Amazing opportunity right? It was gorgeous, as you could imagine (see my main blog photo, this was the view from just stepping outside of my cabin). I was with my mom during a 12-step Retreat. And though it wasn’t my moms fault, or the retreats fault, or anyones fault… I was miserable. I wanted to enjoy my time. I wanted to enjoy peace. But the truth is that all I could do was sleep. In between meetings, meals, and activities planned — I would go directly back to the cabin and sleep until I had to be bothered. Who goes to Hawaii and does this? While this may be extreme behavior, even for me. It was very telling. Though I was unable to see so at the time. I thought I was just tired. I needed rest. In Hawaii, on the beach, with the sun shining, and the waves crashing. I just needed to rest.
I saw no correlation in regards to my trip and to my life back at home, of course. Which consisted of the following: 2-3 nights per weekend of binge drinking to the point of blacking out and making some decisions I would have preferred not to, 5-6 cans of diet coke per day, about a dozen fast food meals per week (all of which were completely fruit and vegetable free, even if that meant picking every single pea and carrot out of the fried rice I got from panda express). I also was completely oblvious to the fact that I had a gorgeous creek and walking path right behind my own home, because walking or any exercise for that matter certainly didn’t fit into my routine. My routine, which was, somehow managing a full time work and school load (along with the excess drinking a couple nights per week), and still being able to nap a good 2 hours per day.
I am able to see all of these things for what they were, only now. It’s so hard to see it at first. And had I tried to change everything overnight, I would have failed. It had to be gradual and it had to be slow. And in fact, as I said, I never even intended for things to get to the point they are at now. I had no idea.
Now, I drink 4-8 bottles of water per day. Diet coke is a treat (which I drink when friends are drinking alcohol, as I am just about 90 days sober as of right now as well). I eat fruits and veggies, cooked, raw, and juiced daily. I eat whole grains whenever possible instead of refined ones. I have even slowly moved over to a non-dairy and non-meat diet! I walk on a daily basis (up to 4 miles), and am really going to be working on my fitness next. The 20 cm tumor on my hip (classified right now as a benign desmoid tumor) does make this difficult at times like right now (just had a piece of it removed during surgery to biopsy it further– so out of walking commission for a week or so).
As far as weight and body image, I have lost about 50 pounds (and am working on the next 40), but I threw the scale away weeks ago. I’m in no rush. I’ll get there. I cannot fail. I’m even wearing a bathing suit in front of others again. And not because I think I look ‘good’ in it, because especially with the hip tumor this is far from the case. But I feel good. And I know that I am doing the best that I can every single day.
But again, I want to stress. This all had to be slow and gradual. I started with the goal of simply cooking dinners instead of eating out. That’s it. And whenever I felt I was ready to do more, I did more. At a certain point, making the changes didn’t seem so drastic anymore — but natural!
And as for that trip to Hawaii? Well it would be much different now. I’m wide awake and alive to all that life has to offer me now. The way I lived before, it just wasn’t possible.